Methyl jasmonate enhances apple’ cold tolerance through the JAZ–MYC2 pathway
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Improving the cold resistance of plants is important, because their growth and development are negatively affected by cold stress. In this study, exogenous applications of methyl jasmonate could enhance the cold resistance of ‘Orin’ apple (Malus × domestica) calli by increasing the expression levels of the cold-signal response genes MdCIbHLH1, MdCBF1, MdCBF2 and MdCBF3. In addition, yeast two-hybrid and pull-down assays demonstrated that MdCIbHLH1 interacts with MdJAZ1/4 and MdMYC2 in vitro and in vivo. Protein degradation experiments demonstrated that the stability of the MdJAZ1/4 proteins were affected by the application of exogenous methyl jasmonate, which was followed by their degradation by the 26S proteasome. MdJAZ1/4 act as repressors, binding MdMYC2 in the jasmonate-signaling pathway. The overexpression of MdMYC2 in ‘Orin’ calli increased the expression levels of MdCIbHLH1, MdCBF1, MdCBF2 and MdCBF3, resulting in an increased freeze tolerance. Furthermore, the overexpression of MdJAZ1 or MdJAZ4 in transgenic red-fleshed apple calli weakened the promotive effect of MdMYC2 on cold tolerance. Yeast one-hybrid and chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR analyses showed that MdMYC2 could bind the G-box element found in the MdCBF1 promoter. Thus, jasmonate may function as a critical upstream signal in the ICE–CBF/DREB1 pathway to positively regulate apple freeze tolerance.
KeywordsCold stress Methyl jasmonate MdMYC2 MdCBF1 Apple
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31572091) and the National Key Research and Development Project of China (2016YFC0501505).
Conceived and designed the experiments: YW, WL, NW and XC. Conducted the experiments: YW. Analyzed the data: YW and XC. Wrote the manuscript: YW, WL, NW and XC.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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